Chapter Rifle Firing Positions

In a combat environment, a Marine must be prepared to engage the enemy under any circumstance. There are four basic firing positions: prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. These positions provide a stable foundation for effective shooting. Any firing position must provide stability, mobility, and observation of the enemy. During training, a Marine learns positions in a step-by-step process, guided by a series of precise movements until the Marine assumes a correct position. The purpose of this is to ensure that the Marine correctly applies all of the factors that assist him in holding the rifle steady. The Marine will gradually become accustomed to the feel of the positions through practice and eventually will be able to know instinctively whether his position is correct. In combat, it may not be possible to assume a textbook firing position due to terrain, available cover, engagement time, dispersion of targets, and other limiting factors. Modifications to the basic positions may have to be made to adjust to the combat environment. The Marine must strive to assume a position that offers stability for firing, maximum cover and concealment from the enemy, and maximum observation of the target.


+The procedures in this manual are written for right-handed Marines; left-handed Marines should reverse instructions as necessary.

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